Tontitown Area Fire Department burns former Mary Maestri’s restaurant to the ground

Asst. Chief Larry Stewart of the Tontitown Area Fire Department watches as the building once home to Mary Maestri’s burns to the ground Saturday afternoon.

Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

The former Mary Maestri’s restaurant at 992 E. Henri De Tonti Blvd., in Tontitown was demolished this weekend to clear the way for a planned shopping center.

The City Church found a temporary home in the building following the closure of Mary Maestri’s.

Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

Fire crews, including members of the Tontitown Area Fire Department, destroyed the building in a controlled burn training exercise which started Saturday morning. By 3 p.m., little remained of the structure.

The 87-year-old restaurant was closed by the state in mid-2010 for delinquent sales tax payments. The building then served as a temporary home to The City Church, which recently found a permanent home in Fayetteville at 2070 N. Garland Ave.

According to a recent report in the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal, Cave Springs businessman Brett Hash plans to build a 30,000-square-foot shopping center called Casalini Court at the site, located at the corner of U.S. Highway 412 and Arkansas Highway 112.